F2 Logistics turned an expected tight championship series into a showcase of its poise and firepower.
Rising to the challenge posed by coach Ramil de Jesus, the Cargo Movers turned back a worthy challenger in the Petron Blaze Spikers in four tough sets, 25-18, 23-25, 25-23, 25-18, to complete a sweep of the Philippine Superliga Invitational before a huge crowd at Ynares Sports Arena.
Anticipating a huge response from Petron, De Jesus pressed all the right buttons, while the Cargo Movers delivered as expected to cap an impressive campaign that also saw them exact revenge on the Blaze Spikers.
It was the third crown for the Cargo Movers since 2016 when it ruled the All-Filipino Conference.
F2 also pocketed the PSL Grand Prix crown last year, but also lost to Petron in the 2018 Grand Prix and 2017 All-Filipino conferences.
The Cargo Movers took Game 1, 18-25, 25-23, 20-25, 29-27, 18-16, but they didn’t need to pull off a comeback this time as Aby Maraño, Majoy Baron and Cha Cruz-Behag joined forces to punctuate a scintillating performance in the fourth set.
F2 bounced back mightily after bungling a huge lead in the second set.
The Cargo Movers regrouped and with Baron and Maraño in fine form, raced to a 23-17 lead in the fourth set.
The Blaze Spikers’ resistance ended when Bernadeth Pons committed a crucial attack error.
Ara Galang was adjudged Most Valuable Player of the finals and capped her inspiring comeback with 15 points built on 11 spikes, three blocks and an ace, including 17 receptions.
Aby Maraño also finished with 15 points including six blocks, while the conference’s 2nd Best Middle Blocker Baron and skipper Cruz-Behag added 10 hits apiece.
Best Setter Kim Fajardo helped key the victory with 33 excellent sets on top of 21 digs and three points as well as Best Libero Dawn Macandili, who stepped up with 26 digs.
F2 Logistics struggled to finish off Petron in the third frame, blowing a 24-19 advantage as Petron cut it down to just one.
But Maraño averted another collapse and hit the set-winning spike to inch one set closer to the crown.
Petron ended up second with Rondina refusing to give up with 20 points and 20 digs and 12 excellent receptions.
Pons and skipper Ces Molina added 13 and 11 hits, respectively, while setter Rhea Dimaculangan made 37 excellent sets on top of 20 digs and three points.
The First Best Middle Blocker, Mika Reyes, and Best Opposite Spiker Aiza Maizo-Pontillas struggled in Game 2 with just five and three points, respectively.
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